Cortex names Fiorello as new president and CEO

Cortex names Fiorello as new president and CEO

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Sam Fiorello

The Cortex Innovation Community in St. Louis has named Sam Fiorello as its next president and CEO. Fiorello will begin his new duties on March 30.

ST. LOUIS — The Cortex Innovation Community on Thursday announced Sam Fiorello as its new president and CEO.

Fiorello will assume his new duties March 30, replacing Dennis Lower, who announced his departure early last year after leading Cortex since 2010.

Fiorello previously was the chief operating officer and senior vice president of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, the world’s largest independent nonprofit research institute dedicated to plant science, Cortex officials said in a statement. 

Henry Webber, chairman of the board for Cortex and executive vice chancellor at Washington University, said Fiorello was chosen because he's "a proven action-oriented leader with deep ties to the innovation community."

Fiorello is tasked with establishing St. Louis as a national technology hub by commercializing university and corporate research, and growing the regional startup community, among other priorities.

Cortex was founded in 2002 by Washington University, BJC Healthcare, the University of Missouri at St. Louis, Saint Louis University and the Missouri Botanical Garden.

To date, it has developed 2 million square feet of office, lab and social space for 425 tech companies, and employs 6,000 people.

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